Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Time is Up!

Our time in Kenya is up! In a couple hours, we will be headed to the airport and saying bye to this beloved country for a while. 

In my last post, I talked about my uncertainties, fears, anxieties, etc. Now that all we own is packed into four suitcases, the goodbyes have been said, and loose ends are tied,  I can actually say that God is pulling us through this transition just fine. He is working everything out and my confidence in HIM is growing and growing every second. 

We will be arriving in Vancouver in the late evening on the 28th. Mom will be there, tears soaking her cheeks, to welcome us home. Then we will head to Kelowna to spend the night with my brother, Marky, before we drive the final leg to be welcomed to our 'new digs' by my father. 

There is still much that is unknown to us concerning work, school, church, family, etc. But we are so confident that this IS God's plan for us this time and He will sort everything out for us. 

I had my last meeting with my ladies this past weekend. I am SO AMAZED at how our youth have pulled together to continue and expand what we have started. I will write a post about it when we reach home. 

The Opiyos

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Transitions used to be a way of life for me. I moved from one city to another, one job to another, one continent to another, one church to another, one set of friends to another, with very little fret. I actually remember in college saying to ladies in a bible study, "Transitioning is not always fun but I get so excited seeing how God pushes me through it." Hmm, I just don't have that same zeal this time. This transition is filled with a little more anxiety, uncertainty, frustration, and fear. 

Today I had a little cry. Not unlike me at all. I am just tired and frustrated and anxious to leave yet a little bit scared of what is waiting for us on the other side. 

We were asked today if we were excited to get to Canada. Our answer was, "We are really just excited to leave Kenya." There has just been a lot going on in our lives and all around us that has been tough and overwhelming and, to be honest, we just want to escape. Then there is the added stress of everyday living in Kenya like the fact that our water is not pumping and our house is ridiculously dirty and my phone just decided to die on me for no reason. Plus, the political climate in Mombasa is getting more and more intense as the days go by and I am not as comfortable moving about like I used to do because you just never know when something might happen especially when large crowds of zealous Kenyans (plus money, power, and pride) are involved. 

We are moving out of our apartment in two days and moving in with friends for the rest of the week. I am really excited to just get rid of all our stuff and live out of our suitcases for a while. It's hard organizing and getting rid of an entire household. My feelings have wavered from being totally embarrassed that, at our age, we have so little possessions to being really content (and almost proud of ourselves) that we haven't collected so much stuff that we will be desperate to get rid of in 30 years. I am thankful that we have a 'treasures stored up in heaven' mindset at such an early age. But then again I'm a little self-concious to say that all my clothes fill half a suit case. 

And then my stomach is not enjoying this transition. About 5 years ago, when I moved to Kenya the first time, I developed some bad tummy issues. After seeing the doctor and doing some tests, she asked me, 'Is there any big event happening in your life right now?' I bashfully told her that I was moving to Africa and then it all clicked. It was all anxiety related to the big transition. I am finding my stomach has also detected that a big event is happening in my life right now and has decided to fire back. 

I wish I could tell you had some big spiritual revelation of some sort about this transition but I don't. I know the facts: God loves me, God is with me, this is God's will for us right now, and we will be ok. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Wedding Bloopers

When I got all my wedding photos back, I of course chose the prettiest ones that accurately showed off the blissful, lovely celebration that our wedding was and posted them on Facebook and printed them off for an album. But what about the not so pretty ones? the ones that caught us off guard or tell a different story about the day? As I was looking through a friend's wedding photos the other day, we laughed and giggled at every photo that wasn't 'picture perfect'. I decided to go through my own wedding photos again and show you some of the 'behind all the lovey dovey stuff' photos. So Enjoy...

My wedding day breakfast: cheese curls that taste mildly like cheetos. Oh so flattering stuffing my entire hand in my mouth.

For those who know my mom well, this slight pout she has is her, "I am about to cry but am trying to hold it in" face. I think this was the point where she said, "I can't believe I am going my little girl's hair for her wedding."

Time for the hair spray...
Doh! Missed my hair and got my face. 

MOH! Maid of Honour with everything in check and lots of enthusiasm to share. Making sure my bag is full of emergency first aid items.

My dad and bro 'getting ready' for the wedding. 


Typical ring bearer who refuses to walk down the aisle last minute. This usually crazy, rambunctious boy turned into this quite and shy young man as we tried to push him towards the alter. 

MOH in all her glory.

We tried to keep the ceremony short but Kayla just couldn't seem to keep her eyes open. Love you Kayla!

Itchy nose. yuck yuck.

Although this picture looks really sweet as if I am whispering loving words into my new husband's ear, that's not it at all. I was telling him that I wanted him to get rid of his cousins who were crowding the aisle trying to take video and pictures. We made it very clear that no one is to do that and yet they were still standing there!

I was hating the wind. It was messing up my hair big time!

We had this crazy lady start talking to us as we were taking photos. She just kept congratulating us and telling us how beautiful we were. She was mchizi for sure. So Kelvin is trying to get rid of her and another friend had to block her from coming too close to us.

"Where is my food? I'm starving. Yet my new husband is fist pumping the air."

Luo women are known for being 'blessed' in their 'behinds' so when their Luo music came on, there was a lot of large booty's making their way around the dance floor.

This woman was particularly 'blessed'. We have a ton of dancing photos. Maybe one day I will post all the crazy dance styles our photographer caught us doing.

Not too sure what Kelvin is doing. He is 'feeling' my mom's speech I guess.

Get yourselves together. Put your tongue back in your mouth, Dad!

That's better!

Kelvin is looking mighty unsure of this whole marriage thing. 

Hope you enjoyed some not so flattering moments from our wedding! If you have any funny photos of your wedding, I wanna see them!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Two Weeks To Go!

The countdown is officially on. In two weeks today, we will be flying high on our way to Canada. 

I was the hostess with the mostess this past weekend. We decided to do a couple big goodbye get togethers with our fav people. Saturday, all my ladies came to my place for the whole day. They taught me to cook the real biryani swahili style. Most of my girls are true swahili people and make the raddest food around. I observed every step of the process with the hopes that I can make it for Kelvin on those days he is getting a bit homesick. The ladies had way too much fun trying manoeuvre all my 'american' kitchen items like the garlic press and stove. The whole day was a complete blast. These girls are some of the coolest people I know. 

A lot of chopping of vegetables. I loved that the recipe was made up of fresh everything - except for the gallons of cooking oil. 

One of the girls says to me, "Let me go stand outside on the balcony so I can know what it feels like to be one of those people who stand on balconies". Sometimes I forget how poor their community really is.

Blending the spices.

We actually deep fried the onions and potatoes before we added them to the stew. We used an absurd amount of oil. I think I will have to modify that when I cook it myself.

This was me the whole time: taking notes and hovering over people as they cooked.

Food was finally done and we all sat down to eat. My muslim girls just spread the food out on a cookie sheet and at it with their hands. 

I invited some of my friends to come and chat with the girls a little bit about their future plans. Its nice to know that my ladies will have other women to help guide them even when I am gone. They of course loved Ndela, who is a famous musician and a make up artist. Ndela gave them some good make up tips.

The day was such a blast. We ate, laughed, DANCED, and just enjoyed one another. I am going to miss these girls WAY too much. 

Then Sunday came along and we invited all our best friends from church over for the afternoon.

The men took over the living room and talked politics for four hours straight. No joke.
Meanwhile, us ladies took over the guest bedroom and giggled our way through the afternoon. 

I have such beautiful friends.

 The men took a small break from politics talk to summon the women to make tea. Ah, yes, we are still in Africa.
A good little african wife I am serving tea to all the men!

It was Kelvin's birthday the next day so we decided to celebrate with everyone around.

The night ended with a couple of speeches from us where I turned into a teary mess at the thought of not seeing my dearest friends for a long time. So many of them of getting married this year or starting off their careers or planning for children. Makes me sad thinking we are going to miss all of it. Afterwards, Kelvin and I knelt in the middle of the room and all our friends gathered around us in prayer. It was such a beautiful moment to listen to our beloved friends bless us as we start this new chapter in our lives. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Counting Down the Days

Can you believe we only have 3 more weeks in Mombasa? Crazy right!?

We are kicking into high gear trying to get everything figured out and dealt with before we leave. Its not an easy process. We will be SO ready to get to Canada once these few weeks are over. Kelvin and I often look at each other and just wish that we could leave tomorrow and not have to deal with selling our stuff, looking after the business and the project, and saying our goodbyes. As each day passes, our hearts are more and more excited to start a life in Canada.

We are also just trying to ENJOY kenya while we can. I was in nairobi this past week. We had some troubles on the bus and what was suppose to be a 7 hour ride took 11 hours. The plus side was that I got to drive through the african plains as the sun was rising and it was completely majestic. Africa is truly majestic. 

Last weekend we decided to check out Haller Park. I can actually see Haller Park from my kitchen but I have never been in it. I was surprised as to how many beautiful animals and wildlife are in my back yard!

 Giraffes will always be so gracefully goofy. 

 These monkeys (and their reproductive organs) always crack me up. Yes, his testicles are bright blue and his 'manhood' is bright red. Maybe it makes it easier for the woman to spot it?

Baby monkey!

I think someone was trying to hide.

 But this someone liked being in the middle of the road.

 Not sure what this animal is called.

They have a few hippos in the park too. Unfortunately, they weren't hungry enough to get out of the water and come eat their food. I was so looking forward to seeing their big bodies as I have only ever seen them in water. Its hard to believe they are the most dangerous creatures in Africa.

 And then it was time to feed the crocodiles. This was the big kahuna.

 For show, they like to tease the little guys and make them all jump for the meat.

These things were just wandering around in the open. They kind of look like something you might find in the mountains near my hometown.

 The greenery was so gorgeous and luscious.

 This tree was so bizarre with its neat roots system.

I used to dream of living in a place with palm trees. Now I have them right outside my window. 

We are trading in the tropics for the snow....